The Flavor of Northern Virginia
Next door to the Nation’s Capital, Northern Virginia has a character all its own. With rambling plantations, equestrian farms, rolling hills, cobblestoned streets that lead to quaint taverns, chic boutiques and historic sites, Northern Virginia is an incredible place to live. In fact, Northern Virginia’s favorite cities and towns hit many popular top-ten lists. Five of Forbes Magazine’s top ten counties in its 2013 “America’s Richest Counties” list are in Northern Virginia, while the town of Vienna, in Fairfax County, Virginia is the winner of the #3 spot on Money Magazine’s 2013, “Best Places to Live: Best Small Towns” list.
The area claims a long list of historic national treasures including George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and Great Falls National Park. A favorite destination for shoppers, Northern Virginia is home to the well-known Tyson’s Mall and Galleria which is a favorite destination for upscale shopping.
Called "Horse Country," the Northern Virginia region loves its steeplechase races, horse shows and polo matches and is home to the Marriott Ranch in Hume and the Landsdowne Resort in Sterling.
11 miles from Washington, D.C., in Fairfax County, 40-thousand residents call McLean home including many diplomats, members of Congress and high-ranking government officials in part because of its proximity to the District as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, located in McLean.
Known for its upscale homes and shopping centers, Tysons Corner Center and the Tysons Galleria is the largest shopping mall in the Washington Metro Area. With a central business center, the county has a 40 year development plan to transform the area into a walkable, sustainable, urban community. With a reputation for some of the best public and private schools in the country, McLean is a family-oriented city which offers a variety of sports and recreational facilities, including parks, rec centers, golf courses, nature and historical sites, such as Claude Moore Colonial Farm where visitors can experience what life on a farm was like before the American Revolutionary War.
On the banks of the Potomac River, Alexandria is located in the northeastern tip of the Northern Virginia region, just 22 miles from Washington, D.C. In 2010, Alexandria was named to Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live: Best Small Towns” list. Boasting a population of 145-thousand, Alexandria fuses suburban and urban living with a strong government presence juxtaposed with locally owned boutiques, this city has a small-town vibe.
Its annual Festival of the Arts attracts nationally known artists while Historic Old Town with its colonial era architecture and cobblestone streets make Alexandria one of a kind. Known for its rich colonial history Alexandria is a city that was frequented by the nation's founding fathers: Christ Church, Gadsby's Tavern, The Lyceum Historic Site and Museum all remain popular destinations.
Cultural activities abound from The Little Theater of Alexandria to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, 123 art galleries and the well-known Torpedo Factory Art Center.
The National Park Service maintains a 17-mile paved trail along the Potomac River which makes Alexandria popular with cyclists and joggers.
South of the Potomac River and west of Washington D.C. in Fairfax County, Vienna Virginia, population 16-thousand, can boast that it’s one of the best small towns in America. Hitting #3 in Money Magazine’s 2013 “Best Places to Live” list, Vienna is unlike any other “cookie-cutter” suburban Virginia town. A wonderful place to raise a family with plenty of green space and good schools, Vienna has a strong sense of community. With a walkable historic center and unique businesses, Vienna has a flavor all its own. A town green anchors the community and serves as a gathering spot for local events, and a 45-mile bike path built on a former railroad, cuts right through town. Access to the Metro (Vienna has its own stop), Vienna is also home to the world-renowned Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, attracting top artists and innovative performance art and multimedia presentations.
Additional Northern, Virginia Counties
Arlington County, VA #8 richest county in Forbes 2013 top 10 list
Median Household Income: $98,060
Headquarters to several major government agencies, which brings a lot of government contracting work.
Falls Church City, VA #2 richest county in Forbes 2013 top 10 list
Median Household Income: $117,481
Like Loudon County, this independent city of 13,200 over 2.2 square miles is loving life in suburban Washington.
Fairfax city, Va.
Median Household Income: $98,133.00
Percent of Residents 25 or Older with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 52
Fairfax County, VA#4 richest county in Forbes 2013 top 10 list
Median Household Income: $105,409
Virginia’s largest county (some 1.1 million residents) is home to the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Professional services and technology jobs catering to government rule.
Loudoun County, VA #1 richest county in Forbes 2013 top 10 list
Median Household Income: $119,525
The D.C. suburb has developed into a beltway high tech center, allowing it to feed at the trough of government contracting. The population has nearly doubled since 2001, to over 325,000.
Prince William County, VA #11 richest county in Forbes 2013 top 10 list
Median Household Income: $93,101
Basically an extension of Loudon, Fairfax, and other upscale counties of suburban D.C. that feed at the government trough. Big employers are the Department of Defense, the local school system and the county itself.
Stafford County, Va.
Median Household Income: $89,536.00
Percent of Residents 25 or Older with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 36